I want to implement websites using a computer that is running only Ubuntu.

This is not feasible because Ubuntu FireFox displays completely different from Windows FireFox.

This means that I can do things like JS & PHP on Ubuntu, but have to switch to my Windows Computer to (edit and) view HTML & CSS as they appear for most users.

This makes file management too complicated. I have two of everything. And...I don't want to install a server on my Windows machine.

Is there any browser that looks remotely similar between Ubuntu and Windows? I want to stay on Ubuntu as much as possible.

+3  A: 

Following the advice from Greg, why don't you install wine and run Internet Explorer from that?

that was simultaneous :) +1
John Paul
Ahem... unless wine REALLY improved compatibility from the last time I used it, isn't using a virtual machine a better idea?
+1  A: 

use Wine to run a windows based browser to work with:

John Paul
+1  A: 

If its layouts and stuff you're worried about have a look at it allows you to see what a website looks like on many revisions of many browsers on BSD, Linux, Windows and Mac


I have to say you are working on the total wrong idea.

I can easily switch between 20 different themes. I'm currently using either an old Win2000 theme or the olive WinXP theme.

The only way for a non Desktop GUI app is to make your website look good on any computer. Use CSS to style the input elements. Or better - make the GUI simple enough that the look of the common GUI form controls do not matter.

Everything else should work exactly the same anyway cause the layout engines for Firefox Linux and Firefox Windows are the same.


Google Chrome took special care to look the same on all platforms for font-rendering, etc. But I haven't noticed anything problematic on firefox, either. Have you installed msttcorefonts on ubuntu? That should help.


I agree with Greg. The simplest problem from one OS to another is fonts. While you can installed Microsoft licenced fonts in linux out of the box this isn't the default eg. Arial. Even then just look at Safari for windows verusus Safari for Mac. Apple has their own implementation of the licenced MS fonts, as such the same font (eg arial) on Windows is not the same as on Mac. This can also be the case on linux if a slightly different implementation of the font is installed.

That aside, all the chrome ( toolbars, buttons, titlebar etc ) are different from one OS to another, so if you're a good developer and try really hard to word your content and fit your layout so that most people don't have to scroll just for two or three lines, then without actually viewing the page in the target OS you're really just doing half the job.

If you can get your head around it, try something like virtualbox and have a set of virtual machines, which you can run one at a time and test fully how each browser will work with your pages. A few things to note: as much as we ALL hate IE6, if your sites are going to be viewed by a company / organisation, chances are they'll still be on IE6, even worse is that there are TWO versions on IE6 which do operate slightly differently, notiable IE6 from XP ( no service packs installed ) and IE6 from XP SP2. Then you've got the default install that is Vista with IE7 ( which can look different and operate differently to IE7 on XP), and the default install in Win7 which is IE8. REALLY importantly is that it is known that some CSS on IE8 in XP is different to IE8 on Vista or Win7.

We (unfortunately) have as part of our testing 7 Win vm's to test just IE, then two for Firefox on windows ( FF 3.0 and 3.x - the latest ) plus two vms for Chrome and two vms for Safari on windows. Admittedly we promise our sites will work on all these browsers in our projects if the client chooses to at an additional cost.

Good luck


Fonts and platform form controls are likely reasons that you're going to see things differ between Linux and Windows. But they can also cause differences between different Windows users or different Linux users, so testing on a single Windows machine isn't necessarily sufficient either. If you're seeing drastic differences between Linux and Windows, it might be a sign that there are things in your design that are unnecessarily dependent on particular text widths or form control sizes.

David Baron